Catholic Canon Law Requires Catholics to Evangelize


It has been called into question whether the Catholic Church requires her members to assist in the  proclamation of the Kingdom of God, which involves a call to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. If and when you run into people who believe that doing this is an evil such as proselytism, point them to the below.

In Book II (The People of God), Part I (Christ’s Faithful), Title I (The Obligations and Rights of All Christ’s Faithful), the following canon is found which prescribe requirements of evangelization:

Can. 211 All Christ’s faithful have the obligation and the right to strive so that the divine message of salvation may more and more reach all people of all times and all places

In Title II (The Obligations and Rights of Lay Members of Christ’s Faithful), we read the following:

Can. 225.1 Since lay people, like all Christ’s faithful, are deputed to the apostolate by baptism and confirmation, they are bound by the general obligation and they have the right, whether s individuals or in associations, to strive so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all people throughout the world. This obligation is all the more insistent in circumstances in which only through them are people able to hear the gospel and to know Christ

In Lumen Gentium, paragraph 16, the Council bishops spoke of the necessity of preaching the gospel, and the reason they give is highlighted:

But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, “Preach the Gospel to every creature”, the Church fosters the missions with care and attention (16)

In Paragraph 17, this rationale is confirmed:

As the Son was sent by the Father, so He too sent the Apostles, saying: “Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world”. The Church has received this solemn mandate of Christ to proclaim the saving truth from the apostles and must carry it out to the very ends of the earth. Wherefore she makes the words of the Apostle her own: “Woe to me, if I do not preach the Gospel


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